November 03, 2004

Moanage

Haven't had much luck with Vonage for my startup company. Here's the summary of the story so far:

1. Went to OFFICE DEPOT and bought a Linksys Wireless-G router w/ 2 built-in VOIP phone ports. It came co-branded with Vonage service, which was supposed to be a snap to set up.

2. Installed router, got it up and running. Everything's fine.

3. Followed the instructions sheet included in the box that says go to www.vonage.com/activate to sign up. Did that. It asks for my Linksys' MAC address, then asks what store I bought this from, then asks me to select a calling plan.

4. Problem: only two calling plans listed, both Residential. But my purchase is for a business. And their Terms of Service says businesses are verboten from using the residential calling plans.

5. Been calling Vonage support all frickin' day long. Most of the time I get a recorded "please hold" then DEAD AIR for 5+ minutes -- I mean, not even background music. The only number I can call on is my cellphone, since, like, I am planning on using Vonage for office phone use, and it's not set up yet! I've prolly racked up over 60 minutes of cell time today trying to get a solution from these people.

6. Finally reached a human, who couldn't answer my question, and told me to try the "Retail Support Line". I call that, and get some guy who wants to know what my store number is. Huh? Wait a sec --- this is the support line for retailers, not customers. Anyway, I had another human so I told him the story and he joked that I may be the first person to buy this Linksys unit anywhere and that Vonage is clearly messed up and he has to file a trouble ticket etc etc and now I am supposed to wait for a call back, which may or may not come today.

So much for VOIP being a great new solution. Vonage, congratulations: you're now known as Moanage in my book.

Posted by brian at November 3, 2004 02:28 PM

Comments

I'd just sign up as a residential customer and switch it later... Though you may actually have better quality of service with CallVantage. If you don't need the softphone, I've found that calls are much more crisp on ATT than on Vonage on the same network connection.

Posted by: Jonathan Greene at November 3, 2004 06:32 PM

You might have been better off finding someone to consult on your move to VOIP for business. I am successfully using VOIP for my business office, and I consulted my neighbor in the office building to the switch. It was a snap.

We are even using WIFI headsets directly programmed with the vonage information so that we can make calls downstairs in the local starbucks or whereever there is WIFI (in other countries even on business trips) using the same great unlimited rates.

There is also a SIP server that can allow you to manage detail calling groups and use mp3's for rings. There is an all software one and a hardware one (that runs about $100!). The server allows me to program in the office number in my cellphone so that I can call into the office system and get a dialtone going out on VOIP so I can use vonage rates to call international from the field.

Im not chiding you, but you may have needed to do a bit more research or ask someone who sucessfully migrated.

Posted by: john at November 4, 2004 08:07 AM

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